LOS ANGELES -- The prevalence of goiter and thyroid antibodies is higher than average in women with breast cancer, Dr. M. Ramazan Sekeroglu and colleagues said at the annual meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.
These data support the findings of other studies showing an increase in thyroperoxidase antibodies and thyroid disorders with breast carcinoma, suggesting that thyroid function in these patients should be closely monitored, said Dr. Sekeroglu, of the department of biochemistry at Yuzuncu Yil University, Van. Turkey, and associates in a poster presentation.
They studied serum levels of thyroid hormone. TSH, antibodies to thyroperoxidase and thyroglobulin, and the prevalence of goiter as identified on ultrasound examination in 50 women with breast cancer and 30 age-matched healthy controls.
Goiter prevalence and autoimmune antibodies were significantly higher in the patients compared with the control subjects. Of the breast cancer patients, 12 had diffuse goiters and 13 had nodular goiters, compared to 1 and 2 of the control patients, respectively, both significant differences. Serum antibody levels were significantly higher in cancer patients than in controls, but did not differ significantly between patients with metastatic and nonmetastatic cancer. (See table.)
The levels of thyroid hormone and TSH did not differ significantly between the cancer patients and the controls.
As yet, there is no evidence of a causal relationship between breast carcinoma and thyroid disease, although there is a direct relationship between breast carcinoma and thyroid enlargement, Dr. Sekeroglu said. Other investigators have suggested a possible connection between the two because breast tissue, like the thyroid, concentrates iodine through membrane active transport. There is also evidence that fatty tissue, "which is abundant in mammary glands," has receptors for TSH.
The prevalence of goiter is high in the region of Turkey where the study was conducted, and could be related to the incidence of hormone-dependent neoplasms in general, Dr. Sekeroglu said.
BY NORRA MACREADY
Los Angeles Bureau
COPYRIGHT 2004 International Medical News Group
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group